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Springer reaps well-deserved rewards

4 Min Read


Springer reaps well-deserved rewards

    Written by Adam Stanley @adam_stanley

    The rocky mountains near Calgary are a long way from Napa’s wine country – except if you’re Hayden Springer.

    Springer, who won the Fortinet Cup Championship Sunday by five shots, earned plenty of spoils as the final Player of the Year on PGA TOUR Canada before it becomes part of PGA TOUR Americas in 2024. One of those special perks? A spot in the Fortinet Championship on the PGA TOUR at the Silverado Resort in California, the first event of the FedExCup Fall.

    “That was a nice surprise. Any time you can get into a PGA TOUR event that’s more experience and another opportunity,” Springer said. “I’m looking forward to that, and hopefully we have another good week.”

    Springer has played in three previous PGA TOUR events but none since the 2021 U.S. Open. He debuted on TOUR as a 19-year-old at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

    Springer was able to keep some serious late-season momentum going into the final month of the 2023 PGA TOUR Canada campaign, winning the CentrePort Canada Rail Park Manitoba Open in late August and following that up with a tie for sixth at the CRMC Championship presented by Gertens – a four-round effort that included a moving-day 61.

    He was tied for the 54-hole lead in Calgary but was never challenged on the final day. He shot a 4-under 67 to top Yi Cao by a handful. Springer was at a loss for words Sunday, crediting a solid putter for his final-event victory. Now he’s got a full year ahead on the Korn Ferry Tour – with a special start next week on the PGA TOUR, too.

    “Pro golf is so deep. There are so many guys who are really good (on PGA TOUR Canada), Korn Ferry Tour, and obviously PGA TOUR. This I what everybody is looking for – the door to open,” Springer said. “To have a full season on the Korn Ferry Tour, that’s huge.”

    Springer, who has missed the cut in all three of his TOUR starts (in 2016, 2019, and 2021) will look to capitalize on his late-summer success with a trip to Napa next week, where he’ll join the likes of Justin Thomas and two-time defending champion Max Homa in the field.

    Springer is no stranger to taking down some of golf’s biggest names, however, as he won the Big 12 Championship in 2018 while at Texas Christian University – knocking off reigning FedExCup champ Viktor Hovland in the process. It was his second big win as an amateur, having captured the 115th Trans-Mississippi Golf Championship earlier that year thanks to a final-round ace on the 16th hole.

    “We had a bit of a cushion; it was just me and (Hovland) going into the final round. We battled it out,” Springer recalled. “Obviously he’s a great player. That’s not a question at all. It’s really cool for me to have won the Big 12 Championship but also to have beat one of the best players in the world. The FedExCup champion. He’s incredible. And he’s also a great guy.

    “It’s a little confidence boost but that was a long time ago. But it’s still cool to say I got him one time.”

    During his freshman year at Texas Tech, Springer met his wife Emma, who was also a golfer at the school. The pair got married in 2019 and became pregnant not long after. In July 2020, however, the pair learned their baby had Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder where 50% of babies with it are stillborn. The other 50% are unlikely to live past two weeks. Sage, however, was born by C-section on Oct. 1, 2020, and was a fighter. Four months after she was born she had a multi-hour heart surgery and spent more than two months in the hospital as she recovered. She requires around-the-clock care now, but she gets it – mostly from Springer’s parents, who live close, while Emma works as a nurse.

    Sage will turn three next month.

    The couple has another daughter, Annie Claire and Emma flew up to Calgary on Sunday morning to be able to celebrate with her husband – tears in her eyes.

    “This is the first time that we get to share this kind of moment,” Springer said. “It means a lot to me that she’s here. This is what I’ve dreamed of for a really long time – to stand here with her and win golf tournaments. I’m very grateful she’s here.”

    But even with an unfathomable distraction away from the course, Springer had his best-ever season as a pro. And now, a big-time next step awaits.

    “It’s really big to have a job next year,” Springer said. “These last few years, I haven’t been fully exempt anywhere. So, everything’s been going week by week. It’s going to open a lot of opportunities with a full schedule next year. It’s huge.”

    A huge moment for the Springer family, a huge week on PGA TOUR Canada, and a huge reward in wine country coming up.

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